Saturday, January 21, 2012
Incredibly frustrating, but it turned out to be fine. Two things; first, the little propane heater I bought makes working in the studio in the winter a pleasure. It's like having a roaring fireplace at your backside. Second, working on the tangled vines of the skirt is hard on the eyes. I don't know how to describe it, except to say it's like staying in the batting cages too long, or driving in in a blizzard - it requires a particular kind of visual concentration that's hard to sustain. I don't know that I could have done it for any longer than the 4 hours I found myself left with. Slow going, and no pictures, but nice to be back at work just the same.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
They are all gone. Gone to Stockton. Gone to Philadelphia. Gone to New London. God, it feels great. I had hoped to have some kind of statement at this point, something that would tie all these pieces together. Particularly now that I have enough work to see the forest somewhat more clearly. The statement I'm working on now has, as usual, gotten too long and convoluted, and become a comment on art, and the art world, and on the viability of artist's statement's in general. Hopefully I'll straighten it out in the near future and get it out there. Finding a way (and finding the time) to be more articulate and honest about the content of this work is one of my goals for 2012. I'm also trying to drink less beer and be a better person. It's been a touch year for resolutions.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Saturday, January 7, 2012
You are comfortable with feeling like you have no deep understanding of the problem you are studying. Indeed, when you do have a deep understanding, you have solved the problem and it is time to do something else. This makes the total time you spend in life reveling in your mastery of something quite brief. One of the main skills of research scientists of any type is knowing how to work comfortably and productively in a state of confusion.
From the excellent kottke.org.
The exact same thing could be said about art.
Friday, January 6, 2012
I'm not a perfectionist, and these pieces really aren't meant to be perfect. The individual elements that make up the whole are not precious. They are plastic casts. Each one is one of many. They get cut and ground down, chopped, spliced and split. It is, in theory, fine with me if there is flashing visible along the edges, or air bubbles in the surface. To my mind, there's an element of theater to this work that I want to see reflected in the finish - luminous and awe-inspiring at distance, mundane material up close.
That said, as I get close to finishing these pieces, it's hard to know when I'm allowing for an appropriate degree of mundane materiality and when I'm just being lazy. The line between finishing a piece and overworking one is always clear. Particularly if you're not a perfectionist, or even particularly detail oriented. As readers of this blog will know, I find the last 10% HARD. And I am ready, ready, for these pieces to be done. But then I see some errant hole, or some thin shaving of plastic clinging to one of the elements, and I will wonder - should I leave it and let the physical reality of the thing speak for itself, or is that just me justifying my basic desire to get this done?
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I always tell my students that sculpture is the medium least able to be left to the last minute, and here I am gallantly proving the truth of it. There are just too many variables, and inevitably one of them is going to find a way to bite you in the ass.